Pomeranians, Are They the Right Breed for You?
Pomeranians are undoubtedly one of the cutest breeds of dogs available. They are pint-sized and fluffy, with an immense amount of personality! Many people think of Pomeranians and immediately think of their feisty attitudes, which often comes as a surprise because they are so tiny and cute!
Are you thinking of buying or adopting a Pomeranian but aren’t sure if they are the right breed of dog for your household? Look no further as this guide will help you decide whether or not a Pomeranian is a right dog for you and your family!
What is a Pomeranian?
A Pomeranian belongs to a group of dogs called Spitz. You may have heard people refer to Pomeranians as dwarf Spitz, this is why. They are also called Zwergspitz, Loulou’s, or simply, Poms. Whichever name you choose to call them is up to you, but they are all ways of saying the same thing.
A spitz is a German dog breed that looks similar to a wolf with pointed ears and a thick double-layered coat that helps keep them warm in below-freezing temperatures. Many spitzes are loving and affectionate, but they can also be quite independent as well.
Pomeranians took key characteristics from their spitz ancestors such as their thick coats, pointed features, and larger-than-life personalities.
Where Did Pomeranians Originate From?
Pomeranians originated from Germany because their lineage of the Spitz breed is German. However, Pomeranians, as we know them today, were bred in the United Kingdom.
Poms were bred from larger, stronger dogs into the pint-sized fur babies that we know and love today. While it may amaze you that these cuddle babes were once active working dogs, it is true! Poms have been bred down to become smaller and less of a worker and more of a companion pet by the English Monarchy. The English Royals enjoyed the Poms’ look, compatibility, and loyalty.
What Were Pomeranians Bred for?
Pomeranians were originally bred for pulling sleds and protecting livestock. If there was a smaller dog or runt of the litter that could not fulfill the duties required of them, they were taken in as companion pets.
Throughout the years, Poms were bred to be smaller and smaller until they became bred for companionship and to compete in dog shows around the world.
What Does a Pomeranian Look Like?
Pomeranians have thick fur that is long and abundant, they have a double coat which gives them the appearance of being much larger than they actually are. Their inner coat is shorter and compact, while their outer coat is long and glamorous.
While most people are familiar with the standard Pom, which is gradient orange. Pomeranians can be a variety of beautiful colors such as white, black, Merle, chocolate, blue, cream, and brindle.
Poms have almond-shaped eyes that can range in color from light hazel, amber, various shades of blue, medium brown, and dark brown. Dark eyes are the most desired color for Pomeranians and are the only colors recognized by the AKC.
Did you know that Pomeranians can also have mismatched colored eyes?
A Pomeranian’s tail is also called a plume. Leave it to such a cute breed to even have an adorable name for their tale! A Poms plume is covered in thick fur and is set high. The plume lies straight and flat on their back and sometimes reaches their head!
Pomeranians have ears that are not covered with the same thick double coat as the rest of their bodies, instead, their ears are covered with a thinner layer of short hair. A Pomeranian’s ears are set high on their head and range from small to medium size with a triangular shape. Small ears are more desired by breeders and the AKC.
A Teddy-Bear Poms snout is short and has a rounded appearance. Fox-Face Pomeranians can have longer snouts that are pointed and remember a fox. The snout shape and size will depend on which variety of Pomeranian you have.
How Big Does a Full-Grown Pomeranian Get?
A Pomeranian is a toy breed that has more hair than a body! Depending on which type of Pom you have, they could range in size from 7 to 12 inches tall and weigh between 3 to 7 pounds. Male and female Poms are similar in size, females may be a pound or two lighter.
Different Types of Pomeranians
You may not be familiar with the fact that there are multiple types of Pomeranians. While there is only one breed of Pom, there are multiple varieties. Below are the types of Poms and their key characteristics.
A standard Pomeranian is often one that is recognized by the AKC with the recommended ‘ideal’ features that they require. Standard Pomeranians have a high plume, compact body, dark eyes, and weigh under 7 pounds.
A Fox-Face Pomeranian has pointed and angular features that resemble a fox. Their snout is long and pointed, and the hair along the muzzle is short and fine.
A Teddy-Bear Pomeranian has a short muzzle with full rounded cheeks and a small densely compacted body. They often resemble teddy bears or stuffed animals.
A Baby-Doll Pomeranian has a smoother and less dense coat with a fine muzzle that is sleek and round. Baby-Doll Poms have a longer muzzle than a Teddy-Bear Pom, but a shorter muzzle than a Fox-Face Pom.
Pomeranians are often mixed with other breeds such as huskies, chihuahuas, poodles, and many more. These mixed breeds come in many sizes, shapes, and colors.
How to Take Care of a Pomeranian
Pomeranians may be small, but that doesn’t mean they are an easy breed to care for. Poms have many needs that need to be met in order for them to stay healthy and happy.
Poms need daily exercises such as walks and light playtime activities. The average Pomeranian needs about 30 minutes of exercise per day to stay active and healthy. Split your Pom’s daily exercise into a night and evening regimen so they don’t overdo it. Too much physical activity can put a strain on your Poms body causing stress or injuries.
Pomeranians have so much hair, a double coat that goes through stages of growth their entire lives. This extra hair requires a strict grooming routine that must be followed in order to keep them from getting tangles or matted fur.
You should brush your pom regularly to help keep their fur healthy, try brushing them at least once a week to help shed the old hair and allow new hair to grow.
You should shampoo and condition your pom on a monthly basis to help keep them fresh and clean. You can learn this skill yourself, or take your fur baby to a trusted groomer in your area.
Regular grooming helps keep your Poms coat silky and shiny as well as their skin. It also prevents matting and other fur-related issues that can arise with long-haired dogs.
A Poms diet should consist of quality dog food that is either store-bought or homemade. It should be high in protein with essential vitamins, nutrients, and minerals.
Pomeranians should eat about 40 calories of food per pound of dog. For example, if your pom weighs 6 pounds you should feed them about 240 calories per day. This amount in cups will differ depending on the calorie density of the food used.
Poms do best with smaller meals staggered out throughout the day. It is best to feed your Pom in the morning, afternoon, and evening which equals three total meals per day.
Common Food Allergies
Pomeranians are known to have food allergies. Just like with any breed of animals they can be allergic to grains such as wheat, corn, and rice. Poms can also be allergic to proteins such as beef, chicken, or eggs and other ingredients like soy and artificial colors.
Are Pomeranians Easy to Train?
Pomeranians are highly intelligent and easy to train. Poms excel in competitions because they are smart and well-behaved. Poms are eager to please and enthusiastic about learning new tricks and commands because they aim to please their owners.
Are they Easy to Potty Train?
While training a pom is easy, potty training can take a little more time than teaching a command such as sitting or staying. Potty training requires consistency and routine to be successful. If you are relaxed with the training the results will show and it will take much longer to achieve the desired results.
What is the Pomeranian Temperament?
A Pom is a fun, loving, and outgoing dog breed. They are perky with a feisty personality that comes out when they are eager or feel threatened. Poms will bark at new faces or when they want attention, and they will vocalize their needs.
Does this breed do well with children?
Pomeranians are family companions who love being loved. They are great with children in their family and will provide plenty of snuggles and quality time. That being said, Poms are quite tiny and fragile, which should be taken into consideration.
Does it do well with other pets?
Poms have a big dog personality, so often they feel comfortable with dogs of any size. They see themselves as bigger than they are so they don’t cower to a new friend. Poms are a great breed to have if you want multiple dogs in the home, but be aware that other dogs could cause this toy breed injury during rough play.
Are Pomeranians aggressive?
Pomeranians are not an aggressive breed of dog, but they will bark at strangers or if they feel threatened. Most Poms are only aggressive when they are afraid, so to limit this response you can remove them from an unwanted situation.
What Environment is Ideal for a Pomeranian?
Pomeranians are small, but they do have a lot of energy. They will thrive in almost any household, whether it be an apartment, condo, or house. They can be great dogs to have in the city or if you live in a rural environment because they don’t require as much as larger breeds. Many Pom parents even carry their fur babies around with them in a dog-friendly backpack or purse.
Poms do well in colder climates due to their thick double layer of fur, but be aware of their needs if you live in a warm climate as they may overheat more easily.
What is the Average LifeSpan of a Pomeranian?
The average lifespan for a Pomeranian is quite long! Pomeranians can live up to 16 years, with the average life span being between 12 and 14 years.
Pomeranian Common Health Issues
While Pomeranians do have long life spans this doesn’t mean that they don’t have health issues. There are a few health problems that are common with the small breed.
Epilepsy is a common concern for Pom parents. It is a condition that occurs when there is a lesion in the brain that causes recurring seizures. Seizures are abrupt brain activity that results in shaking, twitching, tremors, spasms, or convulsions.
Cataracts are an eye condition that can be passed down from previous generations, increased age, or caused by diabetes. Cataracts are when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy or opaque. Cataracts cause blindness, but they can be treated when caught early.
Many Poms suffer from allergies such as environmental allergies and food allergies. Allergies are due to a reaction to the body’s immune system when it encounters a foreign substance. Symptoms often include itching, hives, swelling, diarrhea, vomiting, and sneezing.
Some Pomeranians can have a collapsed trachea which can cause respiratory issues. The trachea is the tube that allows air to flow in and out of the lungs, when it collapses the cartilage weakens and restricts air flow. Your dog may have a cough that sounds like a honk when this occurs. Other symptoms of a collapsed trachea are troubles breathing, coughing, vomiting, gagging, wheezing, or they may turn blue from the lack of oxygen.
Hip dysplasia is a hereditary condition that some Pomeranians are predisposed to, even though it is thought to be something only found in large breeds. Hip dysplasia is when the hip bone does not align with the hip joint, creating friction and oftentimes pain or discomfort.
How Much Does a Pomeranian Cost?
Pomeranians are considered vanity dogs, because of this fancy label, they are sold for more money than other breeds. A standard Pomeranian can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000, possibly more depending on the breeder. More rare Poms, such as black Pomeranians will cost more, sometimes the price tag of these rare gems can be upwards of $6,000 per puppy.
You must also consider the cost of the initial setup of your Pomeranian. You will have to buy a leash and collar, food bowls, bedding, a crate, food, toys, and treats, all of these items can add an additional $500 or more to your startup cost for dog ownership. And don’t forget the initial vet trip to have your Pom microchipped, evaluated, and vaccinated!
The monthly price to have a Pomeranian will include the cost of food, treats, flea and tick medication, and trips to the groomer! So have in mind that you will need to spend about $150 to $200 per month for your little fur baby.
Other Similar Dog Breeds
If you want a Pomeranian-like dog but aren’t fully sold on a Pom, then maybe you want to look into one of these similar breeds!
A German Spitz looks similar to a Pomeranian and is the breed of dog that the Pom originated from. They are larger and more independent than Poms, but they are easily trainable and very playful. A German Spitz can grow to about 65 pounds.
A Keeshond is an affectionate and loving dog that does great with children and other dogs in the household. They are very social, with high energy, and are easy to train. Keeshonds are much larger than Poms, weighing around 45 pounds.
American Eskimo Dog
An American Eskimo Dog is a smart breed that is very loyal to its family. American Eskimo dogs range from toy to standard which means you can get one that is similar in size to a Pom, or a larger one that is about 35 pounds.
Long Haired Chihuahua
A long-haired Chihuahua is a smart and sassy breed that also has a larger-than-life personality, similar to a Pomeranian. They are very loving and confident. Chihuahuas are easy to train and are sometimes known as velcro dogs because they follow your every move.
Finding the Right Breeder
If you want to purchase a Pomeranian from a breeder, you want to make sure it is one that you can trust. Some breeders are more qualified than others. There are low-quality breeders that will sell you an unhealthy Pomeranian that may be sick or inbred. Always verify that the breeder you choose has a history of being honest, and follow the tips below for a better buying experience.
Tip 1. Visit the Breeder
You will learn a lot about the breeder by visiting them and checking out where they breed their dogs. Take a tour of their facility and meet the parents of the dog you wish to purchase. Examine the temperament of the parents and see how active and healthy they are. Watch how the breeder interacts with their dogs, how clean the facility is kept, and if there are any red flags. A thorough visit will give you peace of mind and allow you to see if the breeder is the right choice for you.
Tip 2. Ask Questions
Ask questions to the breeder about the medical history of both parents of the Pom that you want to adopt and the medical history of other litters. Also, verify that the puppy you are going to buy is healthy as well. You don’t want to buy a puppy that is sick or comes from sick parents. Ask if they do health tests on their dogs and what the results were. Lastly, ask them how long they have been breeding and if their dogs have any history of genetic disorders or diseases. Find out all you can about the health of the breeder’s dogs.
Tip 3. Get Copies Of Their Papers
Once you know that you are set on a specific breeder, ask them for a copy of the puppy’s papers. The papers you want are certified by the AKC, also known as pedigree documentation. A trustworthy breeder will provide these documents without hesitation. These documents provide you with your puppy’s parents’ names and dates of birth. It is a registration certificate that will give you the information needed to register your own dog if you want to breed them in the future.
Things to Avoid
Stay away from breeders that don’t allow in-house visits with the parents or puppies. If they will only discuss information over the phone or meet up at a random location they could be a scammer or someone who runs an illegal puppy mill. Puppy mills are inhumane and should be avoided, always. These dangerous facilities lock dogs in tiny cages and force them to reproduce multiple litters. These dogs aren’t looked after and often have multiple diseases and health issues that are not taken care of. Never support a puppy mill.
Is a Pomeranian the Right Dog for You?
If you want a small and loving dog that has a giant personality and adorable face then you may want to consider a Pomeranian! But, with this choice remember that they are not always an easy breed to have if you live in a household with small children or people who aren’t mindful of their small and fragile bodies. Pomeranians can be a bit loud and will let their voices be heard, so if you prefer a quiet breed, they may not be the best choice for you.